The Cyclists’ Alliance (TCA), the trade association representing the interests of women’s professional cyclists, has announced the new configuration of their Riders Council following their annual General Assembly.
Luciana Roland (Burgos Alimenta Women Cycling Sport) and Marieke de Groot (Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport) have been elected as two new members of the Riders Council, while Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) will become the new Rider Representative on the TCA Board, supported by Leah Kirchmann (Team DSM) in the newly created Vice-Rider Representative role.
De Groot, who rides for the Belgian Continental team Doltcini-Van Eyck, said, “I want to add my voice to represent the level below the WorldTour teams (Continental and ambitious club teams). In my opinion, these are a very important level for developing young talent.”
Roland, meanwhile, hopes “to add more diverse and varied experiences and points of view so that more can be known about what the athlete lives and experiences.”
They will join a council that is constituted by riders belonging to each of cycling’s different disciplines: road, cyclo-cross, marathon mountain biking and cross-country mountain biking. Throughout the year, the council gathers information on the interests, concerns, challenges and opportunities faced by cyclists, meeting every six weeks to advise the TCA.
Their views, in turn, are voiced by the Rider Representative on the TCA Board. A role formerly held by Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (SD Worx), this season Van Dijk will sit on the board as Rider Representative. She will also have a vote on the board, allowing her to influence the management of the TCA.
“A lot is happening in women’s cycling,” Van Dijk said, “It’s important that we, as the peloton, have a voice in the changes.”
In her 17th season as a professional cyclist, Van Dijk will be at the forefront of these changes. The Dutch rider is currently wearing the rainbow jersey as the time trial World Champion and the jersey as European road race champion.
The decision-making power of the Riders Council has increased this year, as the General Assembly unanimously approved a proposed change that made the council an official part of the TCA’s bylaws. In another move to strengthen the organisation, the TCA members also voted to allow the inclusion of professional members, not necessarily elite level or ex-riders, on the board to tap into their professional expertise and knowledge.
As for its external face, the General Assembly resolved to request a formal meeting with the UCI to discuss official recognition as a union, though the TCA has not yet received a response from the UCI.
- Ellen van Dijk (Rider Representative)
- Leah Kirchmann (Vice-Rider Representative)
- Marianne Vos
- Christine Majerus
- Amanda Spratt
- Audrey Cordon-Ragot
- Ariane Luthi
- Haley Smith
- Marcella Toldi
- Agua Marina Espinola
- Marieke De Groot
- Luciana Roland
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Issy Ronald has just graduated from the London School of Economics where she studied for an undergraduate and masters degree in History and International Relations. Since doing an internship at Procycling magazine, she has written reports for races like the Tour of Britain, Bretagne Classic and World Championships, as well as news items, recaps of the general classification at the Grand Tours and some features for Cyclingnews. Away from cycling, she enjoys reading, attempting to bake, going to the theatre and watching a probably unhealthy amount of live sport.
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